Sunday, January 23

Dog Fight - Fire Brigade

KPR back to its winning ways defeating the Twickenham Tigers 4-2 in an away game. The Tigers score first but KPR answers with four goals (Eitan sets up two and takes KPR's second goal himself). James, the tall fellow pictured, a taxi driver and fireman who tells me that the London's Fire Brigade installed 500,000 fire alarms across London last year. Mostly, he says, for elderly people or poorer neighborhoods. Government knows, from our property insurance, who is protected and a state goal to make it everybody. Alarms last ten years (tested and installed for free upon request) while a database delivers an auto-letter when a replacement due.

The London Fire Brigade is the world's fourth-largest (after the Tokyo Fire Department, the New York City Fire Department and the Paris Fire Brigade) with nearly 7,000 staff, of which 5,800 are operational firefighters and officers. In 2008/09 the LFB received 229,308 999-calls, mobilising to 138,385, including 29,215 fires (13,841 of a serious nature), making it one of the busiest fire brigades in the world. In 2008/09, it received 6,022 hoax calls, highest in the United Kingdom, but only mobilised to 2,653 of them. As well as firefighting, the LFB responds to serious traffic collisions, floods, 'shut in lift' releases, other various rescue operations and hazardous materials incidents; it conducts emergency planning and performs fire safety inspections and education. It does not provide an ambulance service as this function is performed by the London Ambulance Service as an independent NHS trust, however all firefighters are trained in first aid and all fire engines - or 'appliances' as they are known - carry first aid equipment including basic resuscitators. (souce: London Fire Brigade websites)

James tells me he has never rescued a cat from a tree.